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Fernandez, Wild turn away Oilers

by Staff Writer / Edmonton Oilers
The Oilers almost scored a minute into the game. Ales Hemsky picked up the puck behind the Wild net and fed Horcoff at the right side of Manny Fernandez but the Horcoff was unable to get enough wood on it to get it in.

The Wild's best chance of the opening five minutes came off the stick of Randy Robitaille, who couldn't get a handle on the puck after a nice pass from behind the net by Mikko Koivu gave him a wide-open cage.

Fernandez made a dazzling stop after the Wild were caught on a bad line change, sending Torres and Stoll in on a two-on-one. Torres didn't get as much on it as he would have liked after being upended by Willie Mitchell.

54 seconds into the Mitchell penalty Pascal Dupuis was sent off for interference, putting the Oilers on a two-man advantage for 1:06.

On the ensuing power play, Jarret Stoll held the puck for what seemed like an eternity before skating into the right slot and wiring at the net. Fernando Pisani was in front to tip it glove side past Fernandez.

Seconds after the Stoll marker, Hemsky tried to one-time a Horcoff pass into the open net but it went off the side of the goal.

Minnesota continued their parade to the penalty box with four minutes left in the period when Wes Walz took two minutes for hooking. That power play was shortlived, however, as Fernando Pisani took a penalty 27 seconds later to negate the man advantage.

Conklin made a spectacular desperation glove save with just over a minute left in the first as the Wild pressed to tie the game.

After one period, the shot count was 9-7 in favour of the Oilers.

Minnesota almost tied it up early in the second after Ty Conklin gave the puck away. Wes Walz put it on net but Chris Pronger was standing in the crease and was able to clear the shot out of harm's way.

Stoll and Reasoner had a good scoring chance while shorthanded midway through the second. Fernandez made a good shoulder stop after Reasoner fed Stoll in the slot on a two-on-one.

On that same shift, the Wild came back down ice and scored. Mikko Koivu made a brilliant pass from the point and all Pascal Dupuis had to do was reach and tip it past Conklin.

Fernandez was the difference late in the period making some nice stops, particularly on an Oilers power play. He made a big glove save and seconds later was able to keep out the puck despite it being deflected in front by Ryan Smyth's skate.

Late in the period, Walz made a nice back pass to Gaborik who fired it past Conklin to give Minnesota the lead.

Shots on goal after two periods were 17-15 for Edmonton. For the sixth game in a row, the Oilers go into the third period down by a goal. The club was able to come back and win the previous five.

Edmonton looked to tie the game early in the third with a power play but it was Minnesota that struck for their third of the night, creating a two-goal lead.

Todd White created a turnover at the line and skated in on a two-on-one with Brian Rolston. White fed Rolston in the slot as he deposited it in the open net to make it 3-1.

After completing a penalty kill, Pisani and Moreau almost hooked up to score Edmonton's second goal. Pisani dished it to Moreau in the slot with a one-handed backhand pass but Fernandez made a solid pad stop on #18, closing the five hole.

Moreau was stopped again several minutes later on a shorthanded blast from the high slot.

Todd White added an empty-netter to seal the deal.

NOTES: Oilers scratches were Jani Rita and Mike Morrison. Wild scratches were Alexandre Daigle, Andrei Zyuzin and Kyle Wanvig... The Wild had killed off 27 consecutive penalties before the Oilers scored in the first period... Dupuis has four goals this season, three against Edmonton... Pisani is now on a career-high six-game scoring streak...
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